Your Unconscious in Life Coaching | Psychology of Life Coaching Part 1

This is the first episode of our 6 part series on the Psychology of Coaching. We will explore the models of psychology used most in personal development and how they each create change. We will uncover the benefits and limitations of each model to reveal which coaching styles create deeper, lasting change. This series will help you understand your options for personal growth and how to choose the right coach training.

Today we discuss the “PsychoDynamic Theory” including the ideas of Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung and Alfred Adler. If you don’t know who they are, you may know the terms that are used commonly in personal development, such as introvert/extrovert, inferiority complex, narcissism, archetypes, early childhood traumas, Freudian slips and more.

Your Unconscious in Life Coaching


Debra Maldonado  00:01

Hello, everyone, welcome to our Soul Session today live. And we are starting a new series.

Robert Maldonado  00:09

Yeah, it’s exciting.

Debra Maldonado  00:11

— in our beautiful podcasts, and one of the— we’re going to talk about the unconscious today. But the whole series is really about the psychology of life coaching.

Robert Maldonado  00:22

Yeah, and in particular, how does change really happen in coaching? What is the psychology behind that transformation?

Debra Maldonado  00:35

Where do we have what we learned from all the research in psychology of what happens to the mind, what happens in the psyche, and how actually people have what they call a transformation. And I know, I don’t have a background in psychology, I mean, I trained as hypnotherapist. But when I met you, you just opened my world to all these different models. And those of you who are psychologists or therapists, you probably are familiar with some of these models that we’re going to discuss. But we wanted to really talk from a philosophical standpoint too what model is the right one for you because there’s so many options. And now with the internet, there’s everyone just, you know, putting themselves out there. And there’s a lot of different styles of coaching. And they’re all going to the mind in a deeper way, different ways, different depth. And one of the things that I know for our clients that come to us for our coach training, and even our clients is they say I just I did a lot of work, but I wanted to go deeper. And so we’re going to show you over the next six weeks the different type of models, how they can benefit, they all have great tools. But there’s certain limits to each one and certain benefits to each one. And so when you’re looking for a solution in your life, whether you want to be a coach, or you want to get a coach, it’s good to know these different models and understand what’s available and in all the depth of research.

Robert Maldonado  02:07

Yeah, we definitely want people to be good consumers of coaching services.

Debra Maldonado  02:13

We want to raise the bar in the personal development industry to help people make smart choices. And when they’re picking a coach and when they’re picking a training.

Robert Maldonado  02:21

And just to be clear, psychology is a science that many industries use. We know education depends a lot on psychological research. But also advertisement, we know the internet, the people that created and continue to develop the internet are very savvy as far as psychological models. That’s how they get us hooked into the social media stuff. And they understand behaviorism. The military is big on using psychological research.

Debra Maldonado  03:03

Corporations’ organizational psychology, teamwork, they probably borrow a lot from family systems, we bring our parents to work, we find our mother at work. Also really popular in personal development and in coaching is the cognitive behavioral model. So we’re going to talk about that in a future podcast, thinking positive, this secret kind of stuff, change your life. If you think positive, you’ll attract positive things and that type of model but of course, cognitive behavioral goes much deeper and is more complex than just thinking positive. But we’re gonna talk about that too.

Robert Maldonado  03:44

Yeah. The arts and entertainment, a lot of people don’t think about psychology playing into those things. But you know, they depend a lot on psychological models, because if you think of a book, it’s got characters, so it’s talking about personalities, character development, how our brain processes story, what makes a good story stick in our mind.

Debra Maldonado  04:12

And what makes us connect with a character. A lot of actors do Shadow Work because they’re really working with those kind of personalities and making them real, making them believable. And so definitely a lot of psychologists as consultants in a lot of movies, and writers have—

Robert Maldonado  04:33

Yes, so the main idea is that it’s not just in the realm of clinical psychology, which most people are familiar with, they think of psychology only as the couch or the therapist office.

Debra Maldonado  04:49

Relax. Close your eyes. Tell me about your childhood.

Robert Maldonado  04:52

yeah, psychology is used in every area of culture and life in general.

Debra Maldonado  04:59

And as we talk about these models, I also want to talk about the distinction between coaching and therapy. Because a lot of people either confuse them or it overlaps. And so how would you describe the difference between therapy and coaching? Because they pull on these models too, both of them pull on the model, but who their clients are, patients are, and how they interact with the model is different.

Robert Maldonado  05:30

Yeah, there is a lot of overlap. But in general, the basic principle is that therapy is designed to help people with psychological problems, psychological emotional problems, and get them back to normal functioning, whatever that means. And coaching is designed to help people reach their full potential.

Debra Maldonado  05:56

So you’re not fixing the past, you’re looking at the past, you can’t ignore a person’s past psychology when you’re a coach, they come fully loaded with their past experiences. But it doesn’t mean that it’s pathological. Or there’s something, you know, where they need therapy, or healing, or a treatment for, but it’s like “Oh, I understand my patterns, and let me move forward.” So that’s what a coach does. And it feels sort of like “I’m going into my childhood, then I must be doing therapy.” That’s not necessarily the case. For coaches, that understanding what they went through as a child and understanding the psychology of what made their human being today and what stops them is very powerful for someone’s potential. But the approach is, there’s nothing wrong with you, but you’re in this pattern from early on. And let’s change that pattern. Let’s shift that.

Robert Maldonado  06:54

Yeah. Some of the language, coaching, of course, comes from sports. And we see, there are psychologists that focus on sports. And they use visualization, they use psychological research to help the athlete perform at the top of their game. And so that language of coaching is kind of accurate in that way that a life coaching model is there to help the client reach their full potential in life.

Debra Maldonado  07:36

So there’s music coaches, or singing coaches, and there’s life coach. Life coaches is pretty new, I think. I mean, I think we didn’t have a name for it for a while, it was more like a, you know, a guide, or a spiritual teacher sometimes became my life coach.

Robert Maldonado  07:54

Yeah, that’s a good point, is it old or is it new. In some ways, it’s very old, because, let’s say, the guru-student model goes back to ancient India. And God knows how long before that as a way of learning spiritual development, and a lot of that was psychology, was kind of looking at your own mind and consciousness. But psychology as a science is very new, it’s only barely 100 years old. And then coaching within that is, or the life coaching model is really new, it just was born 50 years ago maybe or something like that.

Debra Maldonado  08:35

So today, we’re going to talk about the unconscious in life coaching and the role of the unconscious and the psychodynamic model. And you’ll recognize some of these from famous names such as Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, and Alfred Adler, and the distinction between this model and almost every other model, so we like to start here because this is our model that we use. It’s the deepest, most spiritual model you can have. Well, in Jung’s section—

Robert Maldonado  09:10

Yeah, let’s talk about that because it is an interesting idea. Some of you that have taken psychology classes 101, it always begins with Freud, because Freud was the one that kind of put the unconscious mind on the map, and really solidified it as “Yes, we were able to study the mind as a scientific process.” And, you know—

Debra Maldonado  09:35

He discovered that there was something that we weren’t aware of, the mind and that actually affects a person’s life, livelihood, and their neuroses and their problems in life. I don’t know, before that examine you would go to a [inaudible] or a mystic, or your religious leader to find out those deeper questions of what life is about, but he started making it more of a science.

Robert Maldonado  10:14

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, his contribution can’t really be overemphasized. I mean, we’re still talking about him, right? And people are still trying to figure it out exactly what he meant and how he meant it and all this stuff. But his contribution was incalculable. It was one of those big ideas just like Einstein and Darwin’s idea of evolution that just changed everything. And those ideas, they’re called paradigm shifts, which just destroy the previous world that we created of ideas. And they begin a new cycle.

Debra Maldonado  11:01

Well, before Freud, they were basically shocking people, which they still do, putting people in freezing water, or doing mechanical ways to get them to change, or just locking them up in an institution. And Freud came up with the idea of talking to them and actually having a conversation with them. And they called it the talking cure. So the very first, I mean, we wouldn’t have life coaching if it wasn’t for Freud in this. So we went to honor that first kind of entry into this deeper world of the introspective world. And one thing I want to say too, is that about the whole idea of psychology, it’s really a science and an art that we’re always building upon. So it’s like science, they discover the atom, but then they discover these sub-atomic particles. And as we keep growing as human beings — it’s only 100 years old — we’re developing and seeing new aspects of the psyche. And that’s, you know, as we move beyond Freud, Jung and Adler had stemmed from Freud and had their own ideas. So I call this an evolution, psychology is an evolution and there’s different fields and different marks. And one thing I want to underscore is that there’s no one way is the best way. It really is this difference. Well, we know the deepest transformation comes when you work with the unconscious but it depends, but it’s not always.

Robert Maldonado  12:44

I mean, yeah, it’s debatable obviously, that’s what science is. It’s that you’re open to debate, to think about ideas and to try to tear them down and, you know, poke holes in them in a sense.

Debra Maldonado  12:58

And that’s our intention for this series is really to kind of show you everything and have that debate on what are you doing? Are you going as deep as you can go?

Robert Maldonado  13:10

That’s right. So there’s a whole school of psychodynamic models. So it’s not only Freud and Jung and Adler. Later on, there came about these schools of existential questions in therapy, for example, the humanistic schools, they’re all considered psychodynamic in that they have this, let’s say, this idea that there are different forces happening in the psyche. Instead of just thinking of the human being as an information processing machine or animal, they say, no, there appears to be this unconscious mind. And then these conscious elements jostling for supremacy in the psyche. And that’s the hallmark of psychodynamic models, they’re not seeing the human being just as information processing.

Debra Maldonado  14:10

Like just think positive. And if I change my thoughts, I could change my life.

Robert Maldonado  14:15

Yeah, we’ll get to the cognitive behavioral models, but the hallmark of a good psychodynamic model, it considers the unconscious important. It looks at personality.

Debra Maldonado  14:31

It’s the only one that looks at personality.

Robert Maldonado  14:33

Well, the whole range of psychodynamic models, I would say, look at personality, but they do go back to Freud. And then they consider dreams important. And, you know, with those three we cover a lot. Now that there are different elements to that, you know, you can talk about the ego and the way that you see the ego and the different importance they place on family systems or the person’s environment, or the person’s genetics. But in general, a good psychodynamic model, whether it be in therapy or coaching, takes into account the unconscious mind.

Debra Maldonado  15:20

A personality, like their personalities, and dreams, dreams and visions and hypnosis.

Robert Maldonado  15:29

That’s right, that whole area would be considered kind of gray area between the conscious life of the individual and the unconscious mind — hypnosis, dreams, altered states of mind, maybe even psychedelics, depending on the models that they’re using. But they are considering these gray areas between conscious and unconscious.

Debra Maldonado  15:58

And so Freud, his contribution was really, one of his main ones is, well, first of all, that there is an unconscious, his first book was the interpretation of dreams. He also was really— I love this concept of the pleasure principle that he came up with, that we’re always moving towards pleasure and away from pain. And that’s such a powerful, you know, base, other psychologies use that idea to talk about behaviorism and cognitive behavioral and all these other systems, that ultimately we want to move— ego is always moving toward— trying to get us away from pain. And so what’s happening in the mind for that mechanism. And a lot of times what we do to avoid pain to go toward pleasure is unconscious. And so we think we’re making these choices for our life. But in Freud’s view we’re making these decisions unconsciously. And, you know, we don’t have control of our life until we get in control or understand what’s unconscious.

Robert Maldonado  17:09

Yeah, one of the biggest contributions that we’re still discussing and thinking about today is this idea of repression. That we hold something in our awareness, in our conscious mind. But then we repress it, we push it down into the unconscious. So in other words, it doesn’t go anywhere, it doesn’t disappear. That’s what most memories—

Debra Maldonado  17:33

People saying they have a spontaneous memory that I forgot that I’ve been suppressing.

Robert Maldonado  17:38

That’s right, which sets the human being up for internal conflict, so that consciously you can have an idea about yourself in the world, but in the unconscious there’s the opposing idea. So now you’re in conflict with yourself in essence.

Debra Maldonado  17:59

And we always say, like Jung says that the internal conflict will pay out externally. So when something is not showing up, we know there’s an internal conflict with that. We want to be a nice person, but then this person thinks we’re bad. Something is going on internally.

Robert Maldonado  18:17

Yeah, so for therapy, I mean, that was a big breakthrough. Freud’s work really took therapy then to another level, because now you could help a patient or a client figure out what is that conflict about by paying attention to the thoughts, the stream of thoughts, like Freud was practicing talking cure. Now, he did experiment with hypnosis of course. He was one of the first ones. I mean, there were others before him, he studied with Charcot and different people in Paris. But the idea of hypnosis also was kind of chained to the popular culture. This idea of, let’s access the unconscious mind, repressed memories, and kind of get at what’s going on underneath the hood.

Debra Maldonado  19:11

Now, the limitation with Freud model is that he was an atheist, so he thought the human mind stopped at the personal level. And when Jung came in, he was his heir apparently, but Jung said, wait a minute, there’s this other spiritual aspect to someone. He didn’t call it spiritual, but he called it the collective unconscious and the deeper self, there’s this other force that’s beyond our personal history, that predates our birth, that we’ve come into, and so it’s a more spiritual, he basically introduced the idea of the soul in psychology, and that’s something that most therapists stay away from, don’t you think? Like in traditional training, they want to keep the religious stuff out and they want to base it more on a scientific medical model. So there’s a kind of a— where’s the space for the soul work and Jung’s work is really the true one that brings in that aspect and that there’s more to me than just what happened to me, that there’s a potential within me. He’s truly the grandfather of the human potential movement and the spiritual psychology. He’s really the founding father of all that, and all the things that we know about mysticism and intuition.

Robert Maldonado  20:30

Yeah, and a lot of people mistake this, because he does talk about everything from UFOs to psychic phenomena. They think he’s condoning that, or that he’s saying those things are true and valid, or that I believe in those things. But that’s not what he’s necessarily saying, because if you read his work carefully, he’s saying we should examine all these phenomena because people are experiencing it. So he’s not necessarily saying you should believe these things, or these things are scientifically proven, but he’s simply saying, because people deem these things important experiences for them, he’s saying they’re psychological facts, they’re psychological experiences. Why would you ignore important psychological experiences simply because they’re considered outside the scientific realm?

Debra Maldonado  21:32

It’s like, what’s going on if they’re having an experience, there’s something psychological related to it. And so Freud, I mean, Jung, a lot of people know him from the personality types, introvert-extrovert. And then I know a lot of people think Myers Briggs came from Jung but it didn’t it actually. He inspired the women that put that together. But we don’t consider that really the psychodynamic, it’s more personality level.

Robert Maldonado  22:01

Yeah, assessment tools, I mean, they have their own history and their own kind of way of developing those tools. Some people borrow from different schools, different models of psychology and develop instruments that way. There’s nothing wrong with them. But let’s say in clinical training, the basic strategy is that you never use one instrument to determine a person’s state of mind or personality or anything like that. Because the mind is so much more complex than one question here, one test, that it really requires several data points, and then the clinician is able to make their best assessment of that situation.

Debra Maldonado  22:56

And wouldn’t you agree that Jung actually believed that personality is not fixed, it’s fluid. So you could have a personality when you’re a little girl, and then life happens and the environment changes, you can have a personality at work or at home and with relationships romantically, and then, you know, professional persona. And he came up with the concept of the persona, which is actually a more elevated, after he did the personality types, he said “Wait a minute, people don’t really— it’s not that rigid, we have to think about something else.” So it’s interesting, a lot of people say “Well, I’m an introvert or an extrovert”, and they’re just kind of done with that. But I think we’re both and there’s different ways that those— we might have been more predominantly introverted or extroverted. But there’s always a little bit of both in all of us. And his idea was that we’re not just our personality, there’s this shadow to it. And there’s this other part that’s unconscious, that we’re repressing, that we’re not allowing out. So just giving yourself a test and saying that’s who I am can be very limiting. And so that’s why I love the psychodynamic model, because you’re looking at the unconscious, you’re seeing personality is fluid, that you’re not in a fixed personality, and you can evolve into your true self. And then you can use dreams and visualization and hypnosis type of altered states of mind to access these other aspects of who you are. So we’re not just this little persona, that we’re much more than that. Now, before we go deeper into Jung, I want to ask you about Adler. So a lot of people, you know, trained in Adlerian psychology, and he’s famous for the inferiority complex, which is a very popular term we hear, “Oh, he got an inferiority complex”, and narcissism.

Robert Maldonado  24:51

Well, Freud came up with initial narcissism to denote that we all go through that when we’re babies essentially, kind of that idea that we are the world and that everything belongs to us.

Debra Maldonado  25:07

And Jung start started not as narcissism but as oneness with everything. But anyway. So inferiority complex.

Robert Maldonado  25:16

Yeah. So Adler studied, like Jung, he studied under Freud, or was very much influenced by him, but then broke away and developed his own ideas. I don’t know that much about Adler really. But, let’s say, the stuff that I learned was basically, he’s looking more at human beings in the social context. Superiority kind of gets you to be top dog in your area and your society. Inferiority, of course, holds you back and therefore, you compensate or you try to raise, you know, your status, those kind of—

Debra Maldonado  26:01

He would be closer to the Freudian model of not bringing in the spiritual aspect, and Jung kind of veered off in his own collective unconscious. So he just kind of built upon Freud’s ideas more. Okay. And so, the importance of the psychodynamic model, I think that distinguishes it from all other models, is like the personality but I think it’s that the unconscious is creative, that it’s not this fixed program that we’re reprogramming the psychodynamic model is, there’s these other forces in us, there’s spiritual, deeper forces, there’s the archetypes, Jung talks about the archetypes. The shadow is such a deeper, richer sense. And when I was— I was trained in hypnotherapy. So I learned more of a cognitive model of just changing the thinking, and go to the past and regress, and figure out what happened, and then reprogram the schemas. And my book, “Let Love In”, was all about that. Which was great, it’s a great model, it works. But when I met you, and we talked about Jung, it was like, oh, just saw like a little sliver of what we can do in psychology. And Jung was this rich, other deep treasure chest of what’s going on deep within us spiritually and emotionally, and just how we interact and who we become, and how we can really become our true self.

Robert Maldonado  27:34

Yeah, definitely, Freud opens up the floodgate to the unconscious mind and makes dreams a central part of the scientific study of the mind. And then Jung comes along and hits it out of the park by introducing the idea of the collective unconscious, this is where transpersonal psychology comes from, that there’s more to us than just our personal experience. So you can think “Okay, what do we learn in our lifetime from the beginning, from the time that we’re born to now, all that information that we learn, that’s very personal, right?” It’s something that we experienced ourselves as individuals, but you only saying there’s more to the psyche than that, there’s a transpersonal element that connects us to our species, to history, to the planet, to animals. And that becomes very useful for looking at anthropology, at cultural studies, at politics. 

Debra Maldonado  28:50

Even our epigenetics, we come from a certain culture where behavior is influenced by that epigenetic code of if your parents went through a tragedy like a war, Holocaust, or something, you’re carrying that even though you didn’t personally go through it. You’re carrying that on a collective level. If we really go deep, we’re all carrying on everything that human beings have been experienced, a part of us is connected to that. Freud and Adler were more personal, and Jung is transpersonal?

Robert Maldonado  29:27

That’s right. And especially the arts, if you think about how do we understand the arts, there is no real psychology that addresses the depth of art except Jung. Because you’re talking about a depth psychology. I mean, that’s where the word comes from, this deepness, this depth psychology that is able to account for how these ideas of art and religion and mythology come through in the human imagination, and they play a big role in the way we do culture, and the way we structure our human affairs in this world.

Debra Maldonado  30:16

And I would say that the limit, I wouldn’t say a limitation, but the only downside to working with Jung is that it’s very, it’s a complex system, which is actually for me, I find it interesting, because there’s so much to learn, and you’ll never get bored. But for some people, it could be, you know, maybe they can get overwhelmed with all the concepts. And some people just like the cookie cutter, give me three steps and tell me what to do and tell me what to think. And I’ll reprogram myself, and I’m just going to change my behavior. And I don’t want to go deep spiritually with myself. But if you’re the type of person — the clients that we get and the coach trainees we get — they all want to go deep, they say “I want to go deep.” And I want to distinguish what going deep means, a lot of people think going deep means going deep into your pain or deep into this emotional effect. That’s not what we’re talking about, deep meaning the transpersonal, we’re going beyond the personal, deeper into the unconscious. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be painful, where a lot of people think “Well, I’m going to do some deep work”, and it’s like “Oh, that’s so heavy.” It’s like, I’m gonna go deep and dredge up all this pain in my life. No, going deep means I’m going to transcend my personal little ego and go into a deeper realms of my power and strength and potential.

Robert Maldonado  31:37

Yeah. And so if you think about what’s going on now in recent work in psychology, now we’re starting to in the West to look at consciousness, like what is awareness? And what is it that makes us able to think and to reason? Some of those questions were ignored for a long time in western psychology. They were the realm of spirituality or Eastern philosophy. But now, it’s a real question in psychology, like, what is going on? How are we able to be conscious and aware? And now people are looking at Jung’s work, because he did a lot of the initial preliminary work on kind of thinking about that. How do we create meaning as human beings? What are these symbolic forms that we create, that we give such importance to, right? If you think about religion, most religions have symbols that they put up on the altar, and they say, this symbol represents the ultimate function of reality or spirituality. And, you know, for generations, these symbols have this power over human beings, and they direct history and culture. And the only psychology that addresses that knowledge is Jungian psychology.

Debra Maldonado  33:07

And I do think there’s— we’ve heard some people talk about the resurgence of Jungian psychology. I mean, it’s very popular, I mean, there’s thousands of centers across the world, people are trained as Jungian analysts, but Jungian coaching is pretty new. We were the first school to come up with the Jungian coaching model. But what I think is happening, especially with COVID, with the world changing, dynamics are changing in Europe and the US, and politically, the landscape is changing, there’s a lot of division, I think that what’s going to save the world is us understanding that we’re all connected, that we’re all on a deep level, we’re all one. And there’s, you know, besides the spiritual traditions of Vedanta, that one non-dual concept, Jung can really help us understand the players and the psychology of what we’re doing collectively as human beings. And he actually was around during Hitler, he was in Switzerland. And he did a lot of talk about psychic epidemics. And how we move through culture, you know, culture basically is connected. And I think, if you want to study Jung, or you want to be a Jungian coach, if you want to change the world, this is the ultimate map of how you can get there and going deep. And it really starts within you. Any conflict you see in the external world is reflected into a corresponding conflict within. So if you resolve that conflict within, you’re actually doing your part and changing the dynamics of this matrix that we’re in.

Robert Maldonado  34:51

Yeah, so if you’re playing along at home, think about the different approaches that you’ve seen coaches take or how they present their work, and try to figure out what model are they coming from? A lot of them, of course, talk about the unconscious, they have to somehow be talking about Freud’s work, or somehow be related to that history of the development of the idea of the unconscious in both psychology and coaching. So when people talk about reprogramming their unconscious mind, they’re speaking Freudian. But how are they positioning it? You know, how are they really helping you?

Debra Maldonado  35:44

Because if you’re reprogramming and being spiritual, and it’s a spiritual system, those are actually not aligned with Freud, or can they be?

Robert Maldonado  35:53

Well, the question is have they thought enough about their methodology to make those distinctions? You know, are they borrowing ideas from different schools and different models and putting it together? Or is there a consistency in the way they’re presenting their coaching models? But here in the coaching industry, a lot of people talk about reprogramming the unconscious mind right now. I mean, you know those schools better than I do.

Debra Maldonado  36:32

Well, hypnotherapy, a lot of it was about reprogramming, and NLP, and rewiring your brain, or rewiring your unconscious.

Robert Maldonado  36:42

Do they teach Freud? Do they teach Jung? Are they kind of basing their work on those schools?

Debra Maldonado  36:49

Well, I went to one of the best schools in the country, they did do a basic introduction to psychology. And they talked about Freud and Jung and Charcot. But they didn’t really go deep into it, like even just what we’re having this conversation about. Basically, it was reprogram, but then there’s also the spiritual part, but it wasn’t really integrated too. It’s like, if you reprogram your mind, this other spiritual part will come through, they didn’t really teach us about the shadow or archetypes. Here’s the key, they didn’t really talk about our personality. They touched on our belief system, which is more cognitive, we’re going to talk about that. So what I believe versus who I am. So like, not “I am good enough” but those beliefs. And so it’s more of beliefs and reprogramming those beliefs, but not really changing the personality and understanding the unconscious urges of the personality and all that. So that’s definitely not something that I learned in hypnotherapy school, and I went to the one of the best one.

Robert Maldonado  37:59

Yeah, so I would say those are eclectic models. Now, the eclectic approach, there’s nothing wrong with it. But essentially what they’re doing is they’re taking bits and pieces from different schools and putting them together and saying “This is how we’re going to teach you” or “This is what we’re going to train you in.” So they took the technique of hypnosis, which goes back to Freud and even before him—

Debra Maldonado  38:27

They took the cognitive behavioral.

Robert Maldonado  38:29

— the cognitive behavioral idea of reprogramming, or thoughts and feelings, so you can change behavior. And maybe—

Debra Maldonado  38:39

And then add spiritual. The spiritual part was just another part of kind of you can do an interaction with past lives and things like that.

Robert Maldonado  38:50

So it’s important for the public and for people that are looking for coaching, coach training, to be aware of these approaches. There’s nothing wrong with the eclectic model, but just know that when people put these different pieces together into one training program, it might not have the efficacy, meaning the power to really transform and to really change a person because they’re taking bits and pieces.

Debra Maldonado  39:26

Well, here’s why. If you want to know this a simple reason why, because they’re just working on symptoms. They’re working on getting that person to attract something, get over pain. It’s very like the band aid model. That’s how I felt when I was doing the hypnotherapy. I had these great tools, people were getting results, but it was very short lived. Whereas Jung gives you a map of your evolution as a personality and as a spiritual soul, you know, your soul’s mission and it has a kind of foundation and a philosophy that’s built on those little techniques. So you can do technique, technique, technique, I’m going to help you do this, I’m gonna get this, you know, make more money because I’m thinking more positive, I’m gonna find my soulmate, because I believe in myself now, I have a positive outlook on myself, I’m confident. There’s nothing wrong with those things. But when you’re doing something, do you want to just fix the external and get these little band aids in your life or do you want to actually evolve and become your true spiritual self in the world? And that’s a longer process. It doesn’t mean you don’t have short term benefits and gains from entering the process. But you have somewhere to go afterwards. And I’ve always felt as a hypnotherapist, where else am I going to take them? Like I always hit the— because if you’re just working on the personal level, where are you going to take someone. And so when I met you, I was like, I want you to help me teach this extra level of Jung because it was so profound. So I wrote my book “Let Love In”, it was all that cognitive reprogramming model, which is still a great book, it’s awesome. But that’s why I decided to go deeper with Jung because for me being trained in that model, I felt like it just didn’t give me enough, it just didn’t go. And I’m a very spiritual person, I needed something that matched this psychology with the spirituality, the spiritual psychology.

Robert Maldonado  41:24

So let’s talk about dreams. Because it’s the third element of a good psychodynamic model, or most psychodynamic models, I’d say. There are some schools that don’t look at dreams the same way Jung did or Freud. Now Freud did the initial work on dreams.

Debra Maldonado  41:47

It’s more like any dreams are repressed or something like—

Robert Maldonado  41:51

Yeah, let’s say his model was one of repression, that what you’re going to find in your unconscious mind, and therefore in dreams, is a lot of repressed content.

Debra Maldonado  42:03

And a lot of phallic symbols and stuff, he would say, sexual repression.

Robert Maldonado  42:08

That was why Freud and Jung split, because Jung wanted to move beyond the sexual energy principle that Freud was very attached to, having everything reduced to this sexual energy, that kind of forces people to repress content.

Debra Maldonado  42:33

And you know, it’s interesting, “Think and Grow Rich” I would think is based on a Freudian model. Because he talks about changing the unconscious thoughts, but he said that if you— there’s a chapter on if you stop having sex, you’re going to transmute that energy into passion for something else, that sex is a distraction.

Robert Maldonado  42:58

Yeah. And so the emphasis or giving importance to the unconscious through dreamwork is one of the best aspects of the Jungian model, here is a psychology that addresses dreams in a mature way. It’s not just looking at sexual content in dreams but saying “No, there are deeper symbols that are coming through the dreams.”

Debra Maldonado  43:33

and that are also transpersonal. They’re not just about your childhood.

Robert Maldonado  43:37

Yes, that are important messages, not only for you individually, but for your work in society, and maybe even for new concepts, new ideas that need to be born to address world problems. You know, those kind of things. 

Debra Maldonado  43:54

Well, The Beatles, Paul McCartney famously said that Let It Be came to him in a dream, Yesterday came to him in a dream, the tune. But Let It Be, his mother, Mary, came to him in a dream when he was worried about the Beatles. And she said “Let it be”, and then he wrote Let It Be. And so we have this as a creative person, our dreams can give us such profound insights. And I know one of my sci-fi books that I wrote when I was younger, I had a dream. And I wrote the story from that dream. And a lot of writers will say “I was inspired by a dream to write this story.” And there’s all this creativity that’s transpersonal, that’s in our unconscious, that we can create, that we have access to. And then we can learn to remember our dreams and interact with them and then understand symbols in a very profound way to help our life, and we become much bigger than just this little tiny ego that’s trying to make it through the day and get our bills paid and find someone to love us. We’re actually tapping into something much, much larger.

Robert Maldonado  45:01

Yes. So, in coaching schools, you know, we have heard of coaching schools that present themselves as working through a spiritual psychology model. But then when we looked at are they doing Jung, are they teaching Jung, they weren’t. And for us it was bewildering, like, why would you leave out the primary psychology that addresses spirituality? And how can you teach spiritual psychology without teaching Jung? It didn’t make sense. I mean, even if you consider clergy, like priests that do counseling, the psychology they go to is Jungian psychology because it fits that model.

Debra Maldonado  45:48

Well, and if you think of even Catholicism, it’s rich with symbols and the archetypes, and they’re very mystical, it’s a very mystical religion. So yeah, it’s interesting. And we really love the psychodynamic model because it’s not just about being spiritual and leaving your earthly life behind. But it’s understanding that you have a personal unconscious, a personality that’s fluid, that you’re evolving and changing. And then also that there’s a collective unconscious. So there’s all these levels of the work that makes you you.

Robert Maldonado  46:29

It’s definitely much richer than a lot of the newer models that we’ll be talking about. But not only that, if we’re talking historically, we have to go back to that psychodynamic model that Freud started with. But now there are different models that are still considered psychodynamic, but they’ve evolved from the Freud’s initial idea. But there are different schools, psychodynamic models.

Debra Maldonado  47:05

So in the next podcast, we’re going to be talking about hypnosis, and the trance state, and altered states, and coaching and visualization and meditation, and how do we do that introspective work with imagination. So that’s going to be great. So again, if you’re interested in getting coached, or being a life coach, these are just ways for you to understand what coaches are offering and finding the right place for you. What do you want? What interests you? How deep do you want to go down the rabbit hole? How do you enjoy living your life, if you’re not a spiritual person, maybe there’s some other system that will work better for you. But if you’re a spiritual person, some systems might not go deep enough for you. They feel like it doesn’t hit the place that you need. And we find that different people enter Freud’s work at different times. It’s almost like it comes to you when you’re ready. I mean, not Freud’s work, Jung’s work. So yeah, it’s like, I don’t know if I was ready for Jungian work until I hit my mid 30s. And that’s really the time of individuation when we hit that mid 30s mark, midlife, the midlife crisis. And we start to ask ourselves, what do we really want beyond just our personal survival?

Robert Maldonado  48:35

Before we go though, I wanted to ask you. Out of the coaching schools that you’ve seen out there, and the people that you’ve met in the big conferences and all that. How do you see the Freudian ideas and the Jungian ideas being played out now?

Debra Maldonado  49:02

I think I would say 90% of the coaching I see out there does not even talk about the unconscious. And then the other coaches, it’s more reprogramming and core beliefs. That’s like the main thing I see out there, limiting beliefs. Sort of the hypnotherapy model that I learned, which wasn’t based on psychology. Well, it’s kind of loosely on psychology, but it’s more like pop, what you would call pop psychology. And so, I mean, it works to think positive and all those things, but it just only can get you so far. So I’ve had a lot of my students that had training in hypnotherapy and were inspired to do hypnotherapy because I read my book and then they’re like, what’s next? What’s next. So it’s a great starting point for some people just to be aware of their thoughts and the pattern of their thinking, but it will only give you that limitation. Now, most of the schools, I would say 80%, is about behavior and changing behavior and just believing in yourself and breaking through barriers and, you know, getting out of your comfort zone. And a lot of that is that kind of coaching and just believe, you can see it, visualize it may be that you can have it but not really changing the personality itself or going into the unconscious at all. So there’s a lot of different realms of it. I think it’s easier for people to think positive. And it’s a very simple model. So a lot of people gravitate to it. And Jung is a little more complex, but it’s definitely richer and deeper. So it depends on the type of clients you want to have, the type of coaching you want to do. I got bored with it after a while, the hypnotherapy, I just got bored with it. Not bored, but I just felt like I was just putting band aids on people, and I just really wanted— I told my coach at the time, I want to work with people on a longer term than just three sessions to quit smoking or lose weight, and just work on that “don’t eat sugar and workout every day.” I wanted to really work with them becoming evolved and becoming who they really are.

Robert Maldonado  51:06

But that school definitely was a therapy model, right? Because it was hypnotherapy. Meaning they were addressing symptoms.

Debra Maldonado  51:13

Yeah, trauma, like it was basically band aid, like something’s broken in you, you have a wound that needs to be healed. And let me repair it.

Robert Maldonado  51:23

Are there any hypnosis schools that focus more on the human potential side?

Debra Maldonado  51:29

Well, this was human potential, but it’s like in order to reach your potential you got to heal these wounds first. That’s kind of the model. And that’s what I see mostly out there. But most of the time, they’re not even working on the unconscious. They’re just things they remember. And they’re just maybe working on their thoughts, feelings, and emotions. You know, that’s more surface, more cognitive. I would say probably 80%, they’re not really going into the unconscious at all.

Robert Maldonado  51:57

What about NLP in those?

Debra Maldonado  51:59

That’s more like reprogramming, that reprogramming kind of thing. So yeah, we’re gonna be talking about all those different models. Again, there’s no model that’s better or worse, they all give you some results, or people wouldn’t do it. But it’s the approach they take, does that resonate with your soul? Does that resonate to what your long term goal is in your development? Do you want to just think positive, so you can get a beautiful car and drive around in sports car and be successful and not really grow yourself and understand the meaning of life? Or do you want to do deeper work? I know I love Jung. So I think Jung is the richest, deepest, most profound, and we’ve been doing this work together for almost 10 years now. And I’ve grown so much more than just the other stuff that I was doing and felt like, this really accelerates your development and your power in your life.

Robert Maldonado  53:07

And we’ll be talking more about Jung towards the end of the series. But yeah, we want to talk about family systems, we’re going to talk about hypnosis and other techniques, cognitive behavioral systems and behaviors which are two different schools. As well as maybe a little bit of the spiritual.

Debra Maldonado  53:33

Yeah. And then the last one is going to be Jung and the New Age. So we’re gonna talk about the New Age movement, and spiritual systems with coaching. So anyway, hope you enjoyed our talk. I’m fascinated by this. I geek out on all the psychology and understanding the systems that people use and understand what they’re doing, and I think it’s really a great service for people to understand what’s right for them. Where do you feel like you want to learn, where do you feel— if you want to be a coach, what kind of coaching do you want to do? Life coaching is not just the same to everyone. There’s very basic, you know, conscious behavior stuff that you can do — motivation, or you can really go deep and do spiritual work, and basically be the midwife for their soul and bring out their true nature, and that’s just a beautiful work. So, we hope to see you next week on our next class. We are going to do that on actually Saturday next week because we have a Facebook group launch, we’re doing intro to Jungian coaching on Monday through Friday next week in our Facebook community at Creative Mind Coaching. If you’re not a member there, please come play with us there on Facebook and say hello. And we’ll see you next week. Have a great weekend.

Robert Maldonado 55:12

Stay well.

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